Oil Continues to Have a Say in the Future of U.S. Energy

Throughout the nation, the oil and gas industry is increasing production despite the decrease of American consumption.  The result is flexibility for national security decision makers, but consequences for areas surrounding drilling activity.  Northeastern Utah and central Wyoming face air and water quality problems and wildlife experts reveal the threats on rare and endangered species due to expanded drilling.

President Obama is caught in the crossfire between environmental advocates and Republican critics. The former protest the policies that opened new federal lands and waters to drilling, as well as the de-emphasizing of climate change. However, Republicans and oil executives object to the lands and waters that are off-limits to drilling and the delay of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Regardless of politics, the foundation for future fossil fuel production has been laid.  Fracking, under the protection of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, has flourished in the Permean Basin and many other areas across the nation. While oil flows, environmental concerns are rampant.  From water, to air, to biodiversity, drilling poses a serious threat.  The sacrifice of the environment for the current surge of oil is one that can’t be undone.

As America faces growing technology efficiency, a decision must be made about how energy independence will be reached.  Will it be through continued fossil fuel dependence? Or will America trade in oil rigs for wind farms and put its faith in renewables?

For the full article on America’s energy independence: Clifford Kraus & Eric Lipton, The New York Times, March 22, 2012